I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
Dear God, this is like the one time I feel like Paul admits he is flawed. I’m grateful for it. It makes me like him more.
A couple of days ago, my wife and I were having dinner with two other couples, one of whom we met that night. As we shared and got to know each other it occurred to me that they were only getting the good parts version of our lives so I dropped a couple of references to the idea that there were some aspects to us as individuals and as a couple that weren’t perfect. We, in turn, we’re getting the good parts of their lives, but they also subtly dropped hints that their lives and pasts weren’t picture perfect either.
Isn’t it funny how our insecurity can drive us to hide the things Paul vaguely references in this passage, yet it’s those very things that make us most likable to others? We are all slaves to sin. we all make mistakes. I made many mistakes yesterday. Some of those mistakes I’m aware of and some I’m not. Thank you that you free me from not only the regret and shame of my sin, but you inspire me to grow and purge a little more of it out of my life each day.
Father, as Paul says here, you are the answer. I can’t be moral. I can’t be good. I can’t be selfless. In my shame, I can’t be truly selfless because everything I do will be driven by the idea of hiding that shame. So thank you. Thank you that you are the answer. I love you and I love everything you offer us. Make me your humble, vulnerable instrument today.
In Jesus’s name I pray,